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BALPA says holidaymakers and airlines should be compensated for latest Government quarantine U-turn and the ‘blunt tool’ policy needs to change

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) says the Government needs to look again at its COVID-19 border policies which BALPA says are damaging the UK economy.

BALPA has urged the Government to act now to put more coherent measures in place which would protect against the transmission of the disease and help build confidence amongst the travelling public.

The pilots’ union says that, blacklisting whole countries, as is the case with Portugal and Spain is not a targeted approach, does not provide the best protection against coronavirus transmission and is hugely detrimental to the UK economy.

BALPA says that as many countries have clusters of coronavirus cases in certain areas and thus have areas of high risk and areas of low risk, travel advice based around smaller areas such as cities, would be more logical.

At the same time, the latest decision to quarantine Spain and all its islands will create huge costs. Holidaymakers forced to stay away from work on their return will incur loss of earnings while airlines will face a huge loss of revenue – all as a result of Government policy and through no fault of either holidaymakers or airlines. Therefore, there should be the opportunity to claim for loss of earnings and loss of revenue.

BALPA is calling for the Government to consider these issues and look towards the tried and tested approach to safety and security from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), which identifies unsafe cities or local regions, rather than blacklist entire countries.

BALPA’s General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“Striking off whole countries is not a proportionate response and does not allow us to accurately target the areas where transmission of COVID-19 is likely to be high. At the same time, it is hugely damaging for the travel industry and the UK economy.

“We are asking the Government to sharpen the ‘blunt tool’ approach and look at the tried and tested way the FCO looks at safety and security at regional and city level rather than blacklisting entire countries.

“This would allow us to rebuild much needed connectivity, give people confidence to travel, kick start business and would provide a boost to the economy.

“Time is running out, senior politicians are letting people down, and putting the travel industry and UK economy in a choke hold. Hundreds of MP’s are calling for decisive actions.

“The Government’s decision will have cost holidaymakers and airlines a fortune – where is the compensation for that?”